Author: Kate Ryley
'Some buyers don’t even think about buying land or building their own home - they just assume it’s out of their league or out of their means. But all options are worth exploring and that’s why we're here :) I’ve been there personally, where I’ve been stuck with buying land vs. buying an existing home, and it can all feel extremely overwhelming. I took out a scrap piece of paper and started jotting down the pros and cons, and it really helped me wrap my head around it all. I figured if it helped me, it would be worthwhile to share my thoughts with our potential customers too!' - Kate
Pros to building a house:
Competition: When you build a home, the competition factor decreases. If you find yourself in a Seller’s market, there is lower inventory. This, combined with more Buyer’s in the market makes it harder to win that home of your dreams!
Customization: When building, you’ll get to personalize all the details of your house when you construct from the ground up! This is one of the biggest advantages – from architecture to design to furnishings, you control it all.
Satisfaction: It’s not easy work, so when you’ve completed your home it feels good! It’s an accomplishment in and of itself, and people say there is a feeling of an emotional connection living in a new home that you have created.
Cons to building a house:
Time/ Bridging: It takes an average of about 12 months to construct a new build. That time matters if you are relying on the sale of your previous home in order to pay for construction. Keep in mind that you may have to live in a rental until your build is complete (we all know how much we love moving! ;) )
Variable costs /un-expected expenses: Compared to buying an existing home, the costs associated with the purchase and build are not always clear from the start. Expect out-of-pocket costs that are unplanned.
Stress: Building a home requires patience. It’s not an easy feat! There will undoubtably be hurdles that will take you on an emotional roller coaster.
Pros to buying a house:
Convenience: We can simplify the process by helping you find verified properties, guide you through negotiations and assist you with deal paperwork and lawyers. You will be able to close on the property and move in as soon as possible, generally within 60-90 days.
Turn-key: The fast rate at which you pay for a house and when you move in is incredibly exciting. Plus, you know exactly what you have purchased. You have touched it and felt it – you know what you are getting!
Costs: The costs associated with buying an existing home are more fixed than variable. This makes it much easier to budget and balance your personal financial requirements.
Appreciation: The nice thing about existing homes is that there’s history: You can research the home’s previous sale prices, as well as prices of similar homes in the area (known as comparables) to get a feel for whether prices are rising or falling in your area. If the prices for your home and others in the area have been steadily rising, odds are decent that the trend will continue, which bodes well for you if you decide to sell later on.
Cons to buying a house
“Perfect” may not exist! You may not get exactly what you want, and you’ll have to forgo one of your checked boxes. You’ll have to prioritize what matters to you most, and stick to those when looking for a home. It is unlikely you’ll get absolutely everything – floorplans, architecture, kitchen design, flooring, ceiling heights, finishes to name a few!
Appreciation: New homes, particularly in up-and-coming neighbourhoods, are more of a gamble. Without a proven track record of lots of comps, there just aren’t enough data points to really know what could happen down the line. This is also true for all the latest amenities you might request in your home (think self-cleaning toilets). Are you going to see this return in upgrades down the road?
Efficiency: Existing homes are less efficient and may need various replacements such as windows, doors or heating/cooling systems. Replacements and updates may be our of your budget after purchasing your new home.
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From property valuations to financing, and purchase offers, buying a home can feel overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Island living, it’s literally what we do for a living.